The mating of Zarkon was just the thing that was needed to mellow the old tyrant out, the former King become a loving Drule, devoted to his mate’s happiness. He ceased to care about his throne, or his aggrievences with Lotor, fading away into obscurity without so much as a whimper. Lotor and Allura never did discover just what had happened to the old King, and as the months turned into years, and then decades, it was assumed that Zarkon had finally died of old age.
Certainly that could be the only excuse possible for why the assassinations attempts on their lives stopped, the bounty drying up. They couldn’t have known that Zarkon decided to put his remaining gold into better use, building a home on his mate’s world. His mate, whose name was Haggar, was a witch of some power, and it was she who crafted many a spell to keep Zarkon’s location hidden from those who pursued him.
With Haggar’s magic running interference, Zarkon would go on to live another twenty years, his life enriched by his mate’s presence in it. And when she finally died, at the ripe old age of ninety-five, Zarkon soon followed, simply losing the will to go on without Haggar in his life.
It would take years for Lotor to accept Zarkon was truly gone, the prince continuing to set bounties on the former king’s head. But the assassin and hunters always turned up with nothing, unable to find a trace of the former king. It was inevitable that even Lotor give up, and though he was plagued by the fear that Zarkon might someday return to make trouble, he was content to focus on his life with Allura.
And what a life it was, each day rich and fulfilling, full of joy, laughter and most importantly love. They could never indulge enough in each other, be it something as simple as hand holding and adoring looks, to a more ardent expression of that love. It wasn’t all that unheard of to hear their laughter, the two stealing away to an empty room, and in one case, Lotor commanding everyone vacate the room in question so he could be alone with Allura.
She grew bolder with her public expressions of her love, almost unable to keep her hands off her husband at times. It wasn’t a surprise to anyone that children soon followed, Allura giving birth to her first daughter not long after she ascended to her Queendom. Her darling of a daughter was a mix of Lotor and Allura’s genes, the child the palest of blue, with a darker hue for her eyes. Blue though her eyes were, they were slit like a cat’s, and her hair was that shade of blonde where it was platinum.
During Lotor and Allura’s long reign together, she would give him three more children in all, and except for the first one, the rest would be boys, strapping youths that took after their father in temperament and strength. The Doom Empire would be divided up between their children, although the daughter was first in line to Arus’ throne.
The castle was filled with children, and not just of Allura and Lotor’s. Romelle and Sabbath often brought their brood by for visits, provided they weren’t busy with their jobs as the official Drule Arusian ambassadors. Their work took them between planets, Romelle and Sabbath getting to travel often, representing their worlds to others, and working to smooth out differences between Drule and human.
The Drules had a difficult time at first being accepted by the rest of the galaxy, especially with their new peace promoting King. Lotor was tireless in stressing the Drules new stance on their interplanetary interactions, and though he would not free the planets that had been enslaved, he worked on making policies to help the people become free citizens of the Doom Empire.
Not all Drules like the thought of losing their slaves, they offered many years of resistance on that fact. Lotor couldn’t just order them to accept this new way of life, not without having a riot on his hands, or worse yet a civil war among his people. He had to integrate the idea slowly, freeing the slaves of an individual world, one by one. With the number of worlds in the Doom Empire, it would take years to do away with the slave system completely, and those years would be needed to get his people used to the idea of paying for labor.
He felt confidant though, that by the time his children were old enough to rule, they would be able to finish the work he had started in abolishing slavery through out the Empire. Not that he wanted to think about his children growing up anytime fast, Lotor content to enjoy their childhood, and the wonder on their faces as they learned new things.
He and Allura often wondered how their children would handle finding their mates when they came of age. They were after all only a quarter Drule, and Lotor worried that wasn’t enough Drule in them to be able to recognize their mates through conventional means. He shuddered at the thought of them having to find their mates through the human’s way of doing things, or worse yet, never finding love for themselves.
It would take years of researching the matter, the best Drule scientists putting themselves to the test of figuring out the hows and whys of Arusians and Drules being able to mate. They made surprising discoveries, learning that the Arusians and Drules shared a common ancestry, dating back thousands of years. It appeared they had started out as one race, and at some point during their travels to other worlds, they had split apart, mingling with the residents of already occupied planets.
The Arusians had mingled their blood with humans, and as the centuries passed, they took on more and more human traits, until finally they bred out the ability and need of the mating bond. They lost the superior senses they had once possessed, losing the predator instinct that was so prevalent in the Drules. But then they had moved to gentler worlds, warm paradises where they needn’t fight for their survival.
The Drules had migrated to harsher worlds, some pratically inhospitable, cold, almost lifeless husks that only held the promise of lazon rich deposits inside the planet. They came for the lazon, taking centuries to mine it all, and by the time Doom and the other worlds ran out of those resources, the race had become two distinct ones. It was theorized that the harsh climes of Doom, only enhanced the Drules’ sturdiness, sharpening senses, and refining skills.
The natural instinct to protect one’s mate became a driving force behind their actions, they needed to ensure their females lived and survived long enough to make babies. The desire to keep the race going mingled with that of love, the mating bond warping, tying together a mated pair so strongly, that they could not live without the other one.
It put them at war with each other, the Drules reacting in jealous fits towards unmated males who came near their mates. They didn’t want their females stolen, and so they would fight, kill at will. The civilization became divided, and only an unmated King thought to save them from fighting to death by turning their energies to other worlds. They would send their unmated males to conquer and divide these planets, and slowly, bit by bit, the Doom Empire was formed.
The Drules were now spread across many planets, which made it difficult for most to find their destined mates. What was seen as a birthing of half breeds was actually the reuniting of the two races, Arusian and Drule mingling their blood to conceive children that were closer in DNA to that long ago original race. They were coming together, the Drules sniffing out their mates among the Arusians, the Arusians recognizing their mates through the dreams they had.
Lotor and Allura, Romelle and Sabbath, weren’t the only ones to be mated on Arus. More and more Drules were finding their destined lovers, and in one case it had taken only Gloria’s perfume on her letters, for a Drule soldier to have recognized her as his. The girl had been ecstatic, way more accepting of the soldier who came to meet her than Allura or Romelle had first acted towards their Drules.
It was just one more pair of children to run about the castle, Gloria attaining a position as one of the maids in Allura and Lotor’s home. Rumor had it, Gloria had her eye on replacing Nanny as head of the household, the girl currently apprenticing to the older woman. Nanny herself had mellowed out considerably, thanks in part to the mood altering drugs she was now taking. She was no longer prone to her angry fits, and running her mouth off at inappropriate times.
In fact, she came to grudgingly accept Lotor and Sabbath, and her face lit up with absolute joy whenever she was around Allura and Romelle’s children. Her grandbabies as she refereed to them, kept Nanny on her toes, the woman chasing after them and living up to her nickname. When the children were behaving, she claimed they took after their mothers, but when they were bad, she’d often complain that it was the Drule in them that was making them act up. But she said it with a smile, showing she meant no ill will towards Lotor and Sabbath.
Romelle’s father had also reluctantly accepted the presence of Sabbath in his life. He paid for a most lavish wedding, the expense surely astronomical considering he wasn’t gaining a new alliance for his kingdom. Romelle made a radiant summer bride, her father actually breaking down in tears when he had to hand her over to Sabbath during the ceremony. Bandor had been present as ring bearer, the boy ecstatic at the thought of the Drule marrying into his family.
Even Avok had attended the ceremony, though he had a look of brooding about his face. He’d later disappear to parts unknown, all in an effort to avoid entering into a loveless marriage. With Romelle more interested in traveling with her husband, it left the crown to young Bandor’s hands, the boy being groomed to take over the kingdom when he was old enough.
Cossack did indeed become King of Amazonia, though he did not have the qualifications to rule. He was content to let his mate handle the affairs of state, Cossack itnent on growing their military support, and training the soldiers to be an efficient fighting force. It would come in handy, for one world dared to attack territories in the Doom Empire, thinking the Drules weakened with their new King.
Between Cossack and Lotor’s combined military might, they quickly sent the interloper packing. But more than that, they gave off the image that the Drules were not weak, would not cower away from a fight. And soon none dared so much as look funny at the Drules and their actions.
They were no longer thought of as savage barbarians, nor were they viewed as declawed, tamed by love. The galaxy recognized the Drules as the dangerous and powerful people they were, and more than that, they realized it was Arus, it’s Queen in particular, who had helped change the Drules attitude towards conquest. Peace would reign through the galaxy, and even once Lotor and Allura passed on, old age finally catching up with them, their legacy lived on in their children. Children who bridged boundaries, and ensured peace for both humans and Drules.
Some thought it a miracle that Lotor and Allura had ever found each other in the first place. Others knew it for what it was. Destiny, a love that was meant to never be denied.